The spring season for FAMU’s football team is a whole different ball game. Instead of the team taking time off to rest, they are still in action. In fact, the springtime for the football team can be just as intense as the fall.
Terrence White, a 21-year-old senior linebacker from Collins, Miss., said springtime is hard because players have to get up at 6 a.m. for conditioning and practice is more physical.
Players’ efforts are more focused on the game in the fall rather than straining themselves in practice.
“In fall practice, we do a lot of sitting, and we don’t hit as much because we are trying to save our players,” White said.
During the off-season, players have to deal with longer practices while making sure they remain eligible to be on the team, which sometimes can be difficult.
“The length of practice is longer so you’re already tired before class,” White said.
People hear about players playing through pain during a game, but it also happens in practice just to get the position players are seeking.
“When you’re hurt you will take more pain and not let anybody know because you want to get moved up on the depth chart,” White said.
The coach does admit that injuries are something that stands out in his head during the spring season.
“My biggest concern is trying to make certain our players are not reaked with injuries, we are engaging in physical contact… one is susceptible to getting hurt,” Head Coach Billy Joe said.
In the springtime, players seem to be focused on two main things, which is the classroom and depth chart.
“You have a lot more time to go to class and in the afternoon you workout if you want,” said Chris Daniels, a 22-year-old running back from Cincinnati.
Even the head coach said the spring season is primarily for players to work their way up on the team.
“We are evaluating and assessing their talent. Spring season is all about trying to earn your position,” Joe said.
Players are very aware of the fact that how they perform in the spring dictates their future in the fall.
“Your mental state is all about being on the depth chart,” White said.
Players work hard off the field even though it’s not during the season.
“You do a lot of heavy lifting. It’s a lot more strenuous cause you don’t have to worry about the games,” Daniels said.
There is one major advantage for players and coaches after the football season is over: “An opportunity to get totally acclimated to our scheme, system and concept, and an opportunity to improve their mechanics,” Joe said.
Joe realizes in the spring season that the primary focus of his players is improving themselves for the next season.
“In the spring they are more focused on themselves,” Joe said.
Contact Royce Wynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.